Critical Care Presentations

After seeing students come in and out of the library everyday, it was nice to be invited to their end of year presentations. For each set of presentations a librarian gets invited to help mark and this time I was free to shadow the whole 1/2 day event.

On this course, each student wrote an essay/made a presentation about a “Mr. Brown,” a case study of a patient that died in hospital due to a number of (human) errors. This is especially relevant in the context of the last few weeks, as there was a national inquiry over the death of a 3 year old from our trust.

  1. Report: http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/25896/An-avoidable-death-of-a-three-year-old.pdf
  2. Recent updates: http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/nhs-failed-to-treat-sepsis-boy-until-too-late/story-29528721-detail/story.html

Each student presented a different aspect of “Mr.Brown’s” treatment, including the importance of communication and the use of different drugs. It was very interesting, and good to see a tangible result of our work here in the library. It’s also nice to see the NHS prioritize continuing education, as everyone on this course was a practicing clinical staff member (from nurses to those in anesthesiology).

Highweek Show

Last weekend I helped out at the Highweek Show and fete in Newton Abbot. As the official baking steward I got to follow a judge, make notes and even taste a thing or two. This was a lot of fun, although I had to keep a straight face when we reached my covertly entered biscuits. Luckily she wasn’t too harsh on me, and I won second prize! There were only three entries, but I’ll still take it as a win.

I  now know how to distinguish fruit cakes, types of fudge and even freshly laid eggs (apparently it’s all about the rings).

After the judging was finished we had a bit of time to go to the fete. There were many stalls and raffles taking place, but my favourite had to be the tortoise racing. Daffodil, the one I bet on, got off to a great start but unfortunately lost due to his/her decision to turn around half way. Oh well!

When we were done cheering on the tortoises it was time to give out prizes. The kids were especially excited to see receive certificates for their vegetable animals, handwriting samples and egg art work. Anything that was not taken home was auctioned off, and I managed to snag a bunch of miscellaneous herbs for only 20p.

Concerts and Comedy

While I sometimes complain about how isolated Torquay feels, Bristol is actually only two hours away by train. Last week I took advantage of this and traveled up for a night to see Bridget Christie (and others) at the Bristol Comedy Garden. On the heels of Brexit, the comedy was of course very political.

http://www.bristol247.com/channel/culture/comedy/reviews/review-comedy-garden-bridget-christie-john-kearns-bristol

While I wasn’t sold on the first act, I had a great time. I really love the city for its size, energy and beauty, and I can’t wait to visit again soon.


As mentioned in previous posts, I also went to London a few weeks back.In addition to touring libraries in London, I visited with some high school friends. We managed to pack a LOT into four days.

First, we went to a concert at the KOKO, which was so much fun.

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Since it was my friend’s first time in England, we also visited a lot of museums, including the Tate Modern and British Museum. My favorite was the Natural History Museum, where we went to a late night event and watched people sing/dance around the dinosaurs while drinking wine and eating cupcakes.

Last Few Weeks

These last few weeks have been overwhelming.

One of the biggest things that has happened was the EU referendum. Oh boy. I was in London for this landmark announcement, a city that voted overwhelmingly  to remain. You can imagine the atmosphere was a little more than tense that morning. Torbay voted predominately leave. However, even though I was surrounded by leave and UKIP rhetoric leading up to the election, I was still surprised at the results- I didn’t think they’d actually pull through. In the aftermath of the election no one is sure what these results mean for the state of England and the United Kingdom as a whole. Unfortunately, so far what has happened is a “frenzy of hatred” and a period of great social/economic uncertainty.

For more information, check this out this guide: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

(And for all of those concerned, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean I can’t go to grad school next year).


Pride: A few weeks ago I went to London Pride. After what had happened in Orlando (not to forget the other murders and hateful legislation passed this year), going felt  more important than ever.

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What happened in Orlando was absolutely devastating. And yet, similar acts (gun violence and anti-LGBT hate crimes) continue to happen everyday, both in politics and the day-to-day lives of many. Xenophobia and racism have increased in the wake of Orlando and Brexit, but this isn’t new, and I could list many, many more instances of hate and murder that have happened in 2016 alone.

If you want to do something for LGBT youth in Orlando, you can donate to the Zebra Coalition here: http://zebrayouth.org/get-involved/donate-now/

If you live/vote in the US, you can contact your state representative here about police violence: http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#campaign

You can donate to Alton Sterling’s family here. You can donate to Philando Castile’s family here.

Want to see the extent of police violence? Click here.

If you’re white and wondering how to step up your allyship: http://www.maximummiddleage.com/right-now/alton-sterling-philando-castile-how-to-be-an-ally-to-black-people

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Summer Entertainment Campaign

As I am getting ready to leave Torquay (just under five weeks to go!), I have been working on an independent project, the Summer Entertainment Campaign. This is based off of the Winter lucky-dip and is a way that hospital staff can have a book or DVD delivered directly to their ward or office. All they need to do is fill out an online form, and I sign them up to the library, match them with an item and then go and deliver it straight to their door. It’s a fun way to explore the hospital. As part of this program, I have also been learning how to use Modx to develop webpages to promote our health and well-being collection. This includes books on prescription, reading agency recommended fiction and a selection of health-based DVDs.

I like working with our non-clinical/mood boosting collections because, having previously studied reading in the context of psychology, I know how much of an impact reading and fiction can have on well-being and health. For example, you can read here about the evidence behind self-help books. I also took this online course about literature and mental health, which was very interesting.

To find out more about the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme, click here.

Neurodiversity Day

A few weeks ago I joined the horizon centre for a day of neurodiversity training. Here we discussed how to best support neurodiversity in the workforce using a strengths-based approach. It was useful to discuss accessibility and learning differences, particularly in the context of libraries and medical education/re-validation. It was also a great way to network with different staff, and it reminded me a lot of the intergroup dialogue classes I took at Oxy.